To celebrate the launch of Miss Selfridge supports GIRLvsCANCER, it’s only right we’d chat to founder Lauren Mahon. She turned her own diagnosis from an emotional outlet to an established community supporting those touched by the tumorous little twat, and beyond‘.
It’s not the easiest thing to talk about, but Lauren is determined to open up the conversation, and we couldn’t be more excited to join the fight with ‘Badass Women Making Cancer Their B*tch‘ 👊
So Lauren, tell us – how did your amazing journey with GIRLvsCANCER start?
It all began in 2016 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31. My life was sent into a tailspin and I yearned to meet like-minded women who had been through the same experience to empower me. I struggled. So I began talking about my experience on my Instagram and blog under the #GIRLvsCANCER to control the perception of my experience. fast forward two years and GIRLvsCANCER is now a fully-fledged fundraising community and has raised over £32,000 for it’s partner charities via the sales of tit-tees.
Do you think much has changed in terms of the conversation around cancer and young women?
I definitely feel like there has been a shift in the dialogue around the disease. Thanks to social media the need for support and community has become more prevalent and has encouraged young women to be open. There is still a long way to go but where hospitals can be clinical it’s amazing to see women creating the missing piece of the puzzle themselves.
How would you describe your movement/community in one sentence?
A place for fierce women affected by the cretin that is cancer to feel empowered to deal with the sh*t show that a diagnosis means.
If you could give a young Lauren advice, what would you say?
Stop worrying! Life will unfold as it is meant to and being anxious about it will not change the outcome. Be kind to yourself – you’re good as gold – life is too short to be so hard on yourself. Breathe, babes.
What made you decide on GIRLvsCANCER as opposed to perhaps using your name?
I’m just one story of cancer there are millions of women worldwide with different experiences, I wanted a name for any one of those incredible women to share their story too. After all if I could get cancer anyone can.
Do you have a typical day?
Absolutely not. Routine has currently gone out of the window! Things have escalated pretty sharpish here in GIRLvsCANCER world and so things are very different from one day to the next. For example I could be on a photoshoot whilst answering customer service emails during lunch break. Or I could be at the hospital for appointments then at a meeting in town with my partner charities. There’s loads of exciting opportunities in the pipeline that I hope will give me more structure in the new year including hiring a team *crosses fingers*
When you’re feeling a bit uninspired, what do you do?
Get out of the house and see friends. Being out and about and having conversations triggers so many ideas. Working from home can be quite isolating at times and it’s important to give yourself headspace for inspiration to come.
The best career decision you’ve ever made?
To work for myself. I always knew I wasn’t cut out for the 9 to 5. I fizz with ideas and like to do things my way, working for somebody else stifled me and I think GIRLvsCANCER is a testament to the fact I’m capable of so much more than I was previously allowed to achieve. The cancer experience removed the fear of giving it a go and I’m mega proud to have just filed my first year accounts as a business. Having autonomy is the best thing in the world.
What advice would you give someone that’s worried about going to their doctor, or discussing their diagnosis?
Please don’t suffer in silence, it’s important to let somebody know if there is something concerning you. If you’re too afraid to go to the Dr tell a friend and have them come with you. Burying your head in the sand often means the situation will worsen. Facing things head on means you can deal with it and move forward. Be brave.
Who’s a Miss Boss in your life?
My incredible sister who is the most amazing mother to my nephew and the best friend a girl could have. Also my darling podcast co-host Deborah who doesn’t just live with stage 4 cancer, she thrives. Deb’s kinda my hero.
💗25% of the selling price of GIRLvsCANCER product is divided equally and paid to the following charities: CoppaFeel, Trekstock, Future Dreams and Look Good Feel Better charities registered in England and Wales (Registered Charity Numbers 1132366, 1132421, 1123526, 1031728) and companies limited by guarantee (Company Numbers 06974733, 06919669, 06484974, 2850925
Feeling inspired? Read more Miss Boss here.